ASTOUND Workshops. Business Modeling Tools and Techniques




Creative Start-ups exemplify the potential for creative industries to spearhead economic and cultural development. As digital media have lowered the entry barriers to produce and distribute content, Creative Start-Ups are embracing the opportunities. The ASTOUND Initiative encourages content creators to think entrepreneurially, explore their unique offerings, revenue potential and understand their business model through the ASTOUND Workshop.

Using the Business Model Canvas ASTOUND Workshops will train producers to use the techniques of business model design as set out by Osterwalder and his associates, and evolved by the CFC Media Lab. Specifically targeted to content-based businesses in the digital and interactive media, film and TV, publishing and gaming sub-sectors to provided training and networking opportunities. Through interviews and tracking the business model patterns that emerge we will compile the definitive list of successful business models for Canadian content-based industry and provide new tools and resources with a investment-readiness approach.

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ASTOUND Salons. Networking and Knowledge Exchange




The global entertainment and media market was estimated to be worth more than US$1.35 trillion in 2008, and is forecast to grow to approximately US$1.6 trillion by 2013.1 Creative industries now represent a significant proportion of many countries’ GDPs, as economies around the world recognize the importance of the creative industries to their future economic growth. As the “knowledge” versus “industrial” economy continues to grow in importance across all developed and developing countries, creative industries are critical to the larger knowledge economy job creation engine, preparing workers for a digital future that relies on creativity versus physical work.excerpt from Ontario’s Creative Cluster report


Focusing on Creative Start-Ups leads to more nuanced perspectives. Creative Start-Ups are becoming less wedded to the existing business models and better positioned to exploit alternative paradigms. Marrying the culture of investors with that of content creators is essential to the success of the ASTOUND Initiative. The ASTOUND Salons are a series of private and public events focused on bringing investors alongside content entrepreneurs to create a common language and map potential points of engagement between these two cultures. The Salons provide an environment where investors and content creators can collaborate to write a sop and common language around diverse investment business models.

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ASTOUND Summit. The Business of Audience Engagement




Content Creators are bypassing record labels and studio deals in favor of alternative business models, relying on online platforms to connect with their fans and funders.

The ASTOUND Summit will assess and survey various crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and audience engagement strategies that have been successful. Although a strong team and a solid track record can go a long way to attract potential investors, for the most part having a handle on what the potential ROI on any given project may be is still critical to closing the deal. We believe that integrating audiences meaningfully throughout the production value chain, and tracking their engagement along the way can be used to mitigate the risk for potential investors.

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The ASTOUND Initiative is led by CFC Media Lab in partnership with Hot Docs, and OCADU. ASTOUND is made possible through The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.

Tertiary Partners: Achilles Media, Canadian Media Production Association, Interactive Ontario, MaRS Discovery District, Nordicity, Seneca College, Summerwood Group Inc., University of Waterloo – Stratford Campus, Toronto International Film Festival, Wesley Clover International, and Women In Film and Video – Toronto. In collaboration with: National Angel Capital Organization, Network of Angels – Ontario and Maple Leaf Angels.